The Great Beach at Point Reyes is not like other beaches. This ten-mile stretch of sand faces northwest, directly into the prevailing westerlies and the California current. Rocky points bracket it at each end. Most of the items that wash up here are not local. Some are from thousands of miles away. Almost every object tells a story. We’ve barely begun, but here are some of the kinds of items we find:
Fishing and crabbing gear from Japan, China, Oregon and Northern California, beverage bottles and food containers labeled for domestic consumption in China, Japan, Korea, India (these are most likely tossed overboard by the crews of international ships), ball point pens with the names and logos of local businesses, a political campaign sign, large light bulbs from ships, children’s shoes. You can estimate how long an object has been floating by the size of the pelagic barnacles on it. Japanese tsunami debris has already started to arrive in Oregon.
- How much of the debris on Point Reyes Beach comes from international shipping, local fishermen, beach goers, the tsunami, Oregon and Washington, etc?
- When will our share of the the Japanese tsunami debris finally start to arrive?
- What categories of (high-floating?) tsunami debris objects will arrive first?
- What can we learn from the marine organisms (barnacles, etc.) that encrust the debris?
|Debris collected on Point Reyes Beach|
|Sir Francis Drake High School|
|Description||Number of Items / bags||Total Weight (pounds)||Identifying numbers, marks, corporate brands, languages|
|5 gallon motor oil bucket; oil bottle||2||11||Chevron|
|crab pot buoys + rope||45||117|
|large foam pieces||16||28|
|bags of foam pieces||9||13|
|bags of plastic water bottles||8||19||Crystal Geyser, Gatorade|
|bags of misc. plastic||4||24||Lays, Cheetos, Kraft|
|bags of aluminum cans||3||4.7||Coke, Coors|
|bags of glass bottles||6||77||Budweiser, Seagrams|
|bags of crab bait boxes||2||10|
|bag of cleaning bottles||1||1.6||Clorox, Dawn|
|bags of shoes and hats||2||20||Stride Rite|
|bags of wood, paper, misc. trash||4||22|
|large net floats||7||33||Chinese, Japanese|
|bow of small boat/ boat parts||3||59||CF 2589 HW|
|misc. plastic pieces||42||85||Rubbermaid|
|tools, plastic buckets||6||2.9||Durabeam|
|steel propane bottles/ scrap metal||3||4.5||Coleman|
|political sign||1||0.2||Sally Lieber for Senate|
|Plastic bottle caps||hundreds||4||Coke, Minute Maid|
|light bulbs||7||1.5||General Electric|
|metal spray cans||4||2|
|oyster farming spacers||45||1|
|chewing tobacco tins||14||0.5||Copenhagen|
|shotgun shell casings||177||1|
|balls; mostly tennis balls||25||3||Penn|
|spoons and forks||15||0.2|
|medicinal, dental, personal care||45||1.3||Cortizone|
|small net floats||14||1.5|
|sport fishing gear||23||7.8|
|water bottles from Asia||26||2||China, Japan, India, Malaysia|
|TOTAL WEIGHT (pounds)||617.9|